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Today, De La Salle turns 100 years old. That’s pretty long, especially for a school many would think is located only in the Philippines. And on this day, we not only celebrate the 100th anniversary of La Salle; we also honor the La Salle brothers who came to the Philippines to teach us Christian values.
The La Salle brothers’ mission is to educate, and they’ve done a good job in doing so – especially the brothers during my time in school, whom I’ll never forget. They’re one of the reasons many alumni have come this far in their lives – achieving success in business, and more so, having a happy family and a fulfilled life, because the La Salle brothers have helped rear our spiritual life towards the right direction. Brothers Dizon, Franco, and the late Brothers Donato and Andrew – they have inspired me to become what I am today.
As a young boy who spent all of my school life in La Salle, I still faintly remember my mother taking me to my first day in school at La Salle Greenhills, with my crew cut hair and new set of brown khaki shorts, white polo shirt and Gregg shoes. This was the same scene for many first timers in La Salle. This was the beginning of a 15-year journey of being a Green Archer.
In my family, I wasn’t the only Green Archer. Both my father Joecon and Uncle Raul also attended La Salle. Many families have chosen La Salle as the school for their children, with some families sending an entire kin to the school. Some examples include the Atayde family, wherein Henry Atayde is the current president of the DLSAA, which was also founded by his father. Ramon del Rosario Sr. and his son, Ramon del Rosario Jr., are also Lasallians. The same is true for the French brothers and entrepreneurs Philippe and Michel Lhuillier.
Many of La Salle’s alumni turned out to be some of the country’s most esteemed individuals. Some names to note include Jose Antonio Araneta, Enrique Aboitiz, William Golangco, Joseph McMicking, David Consunji, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Carlos Ledesma, Ernesto Rufino, Sr., Alfonso T. Yuchengco, John Gokongwei, Ricky Razon, George Yang, Vicente “Ting” Paterno, and Sec. Cesar V. Purisima, just to name a few.
One can argue that La Salle is probably the best business school today. During my term a couple of years ago as La Salle director, La Salle’s growth and profitability was obvious, especially with its expansion all over the Philippines. Also, the roster of highly successful businessmen and women that La Salle has produced is a testament to the kind of business education the school provides.?
The Blue (Ateneo) – Green (La Salle) rivalry, which has started many generations ago, especially because of basketball, has matured into a peaceful rivalry today. I will not say which is the better school, as I believe many schools in the Philippines are able to mentor just as well. And while the Concepcion clan was once solidly green, I now have nephews and nieces who go to Ateneo, while my daughter Catherine will go to La Salle – Taft for college.
Some people think that the green color of Go Negosyo is inspired by La Salle, but that is not the case. In fact, Go Negosyo is supported by a lot of non-Lasallians. Go Negosyo pushes for greater awareness on entrepreneurship and on how to be successful at it. Clearly, proper mentorship is the key for any entrepreneur to be successful. The school we choose plays just one part of our education; our parents play a greater role. Through life, we should seek mentors who are like angels that’ll guide us. At Go Negosyo, we call them Angelpreneurs – people with experience who can help, teach, lead, mentor, and most of all, inspire.
This week, the students, alumni, and faculty from all 17 La Salle schools gather as one in the Centennial celebration. The Centennial Excom, which includes good friend Henry Atayde and my cousin Raissa Hechanova-Posadas, has lined up a series of events this week, with exciting programs such as an Animo street party; an All-Star Lasallian Centennial Show directed by Rowell Santiago, with musical direction by Louie Ocampo; the veneration of the relics of St. John Baptiste de La Salle, which will tour all La Salle campuses; and a cantata entitled “Fire in the Soul,” which is directed by Peque Gallaga and will commemorate the massacre of the La Salle Brothers during World War II.? ?
To recognize all the successful graduates of La Salle, my cousin Raissa had this brilliant idea of publishing the first ever Centennial coffee table book. With Raissa taking the lead as project coordinator, her team will be producing a historical book that will chronicle and feature the achievements of La Salle and its alumni, and will contain a whole collection of various photos. A truly priceless collector’s item for every Lasallian. And to live by the teachings of St. John Baptiste de La Salle, the Centennial Excom has also made its bookselling a fundraiser for the One La Salle Scholarship Endowment Fund, to provide full-time scholarships in all schools of La Salle.?
I’m proud to be a Green Archer. I may not have gotten any award in school, except for a loyalty award given during my graduation, but I have to say that the La Salle brothers have done well in giving me what I have today. Happy100th birthday. Congratulations to all the Green Archers spanning through all generations. Not all will have achieved the same degree of success, but what’s important is that we have been mentored and taught by the La Salle brothers to live by Christian principles.
Contact me: email@example.com or Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top rating entrep show GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! on GMA News TV, Saturday and Sunday 8-8:30 a.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips in your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910.